Patching a window screen that is torn or has a hole is a simple job if the problem is identified before the hole or tear enlarges. In many cases, you can repair a screen without removing it from the frame. Commercially available patch kits are inexpensive and simple to use to repair small to moderate-sized holes or tears. Holes or tears larger than about 7 inches across usually require replacement of the entire screen.
Type of Screen
Window screen material is typically made of aluminum or synthetic fibers, loosely woven to permit the passage of a breeze, but tight enough to keep out bugs. Homeowners that live in areas with small gnats often use a finer-mesh screen.
Patching Materials or Kits
For holes or tears up to 7 inches long, patch kits are effective repair materials. These kits generally include a screen patch and instructions for mending the screen. Repair kits for synthetic-fiber screens often include a self-adhesive patch that can be affixed to the screen without the use of special tools. Aluminum screen repair kits often include only a piece of replacement mesh that you attach to the screen by threading the edge wires of the patch through the screen.
Overview of Small Hole Repair
To repair a small hole in a synthetic screen with a self-adhesive patch, trim the patch with scissors so it is an inch or so wider than the hole. Position the patch over the hole and press it in place to create a durable repair. Patch holes in aluminum screens by first cutting a rectangular patch slightly larger than the hole from the replacement screen, using tin snips. Bend the edges of the patch 90 degrees to form a box shape. The edges of the patch are frayed so you can push the fibers through the weave of the screen. Flatten the patch to complete the repair.
Large Repair Jobs
To repair a large hole or tear in a window or door screen, you may have to replace the entire screen. This job is usually easier if you first place the screen on a flat surface to remove the lath, or spline, that holds the screen material in place. Trim the replacement screen fit it to the frame, and then replace the spline or lath to hold the screen material in place.
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